by Jeffrey Burghauser (October 2022)
The Encounter, Reuven Rubin, 1922
I turn to the Word when I’m tired of books.
Supply me a philosophy whose source
Is, at the very, very least, sedan’d
Inside a book of some description, and
Is not as universal as the sun.
For everybody knows a mere divorce
Will make a Nietzschean of anyone.
25 Richland Drive, Columbus, Ohio
The first time our Samsung freezer failed,
The guy explained that this infirm device,
Not having been defrosted, ever, flailed
Beneath the solid custody of ice.
The next time our Samsung freezer failed,
The guy discovered desiccated, sore
Depressions in the rubber foam that trailed
The edges of the steel & plastic door.
The third time our Samsung freezer failed,
He blamed what seemed a barren hiss or a
Defeated murmur on the scummy-scaled
Evaporator’s even viscera.
Suburban rage was Lysol on my skin
Until I was awakened by the hard,
Repulsive screech of monkeys warring in
The trees above the swing set in the yard.
I slipped a slug into my 20-gauge,
And stepped into the gentle bourgeois night,
Anticipating apes upon the stage
Delineated by my rifle sight.
The sky: a fire-blackened altarpiece.
The trees were vacant. Nothing stirred above.
The crazy dogs found nothing to release
Their lunacy in the direction of.
And once inside, my mental ocean krill’d
With cares, my essence sliding down the steep
Suspicion I was mad, I sipped Pimm’s chilled
By ice the freezer now could make, and keep.
Obtain for Yourself a Teacher
Doctor Johnson’s gentle wraith
Taught me how to turn my prized
Learning, Irony & Faith
Into something civilized.
Jeffrey Burghauser is a teacher in Columbus, OH. He was educated at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Leeds. He currently studies the five-string banjo with a focus on pre-WWII picking styles. A former artist-in-residence at the Arad Arts Project (Israel), his poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Appalachian Journal, Fearsome Critters, Iceview, Lehrhaus, and New English Review. Jeffrey’s book-length collections are available on Amazon, and his website is www.jeffreyburghauser.com.
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